I think I am a bit strange. I have enjoyed all the interviews I have had. In fact, here is my confession. I am more nervous and anxious when I am the interviewer!

I have lost count how many people I have interviewed since 2001; I put bets on it being in the thousands! Everyone that has impressed me has had a similar approach to their interview. Many more impress me that are offered the job – so often there are several in an interview group that could have been successful in the job that was vacant.

I thought I would share my tops six tips from “across the table”. Keep these in mind for your next interview and I promise you, you will walk away jumping for joy

Jump for joy after a successful interviewAn interview is not an interrogation
It goes without saying it is an artificial environment, but it is designed to get the best out of you, not to trip you up. Trust that the interviewers want you to show off all your best bits, and to uncover where you may need training and development.

Preparation doesn’t guarantee success
If you don’t research and review the right information, then you may as well of not bothered! Remember these areas:
The company: the staff: the industry.

Check out their website; review the blogs, industry news; get some context of the organisation and its plans.
If you are lucky enough to know who is interviewing you, research them. Find them on LinkedIn to see what part they play in the business.
Do some digging to review where this job fits into the department or company as a whole.
What is happening in the industry at the moment? Review their competitors.

The role needs a whole section to itself
The backbone of the interview will be the job. They want to see if you will fit into the role and the team. Give the job and the person specification some time as part of your preparation; review each of the skills / behaviours they have asked for and prepare answers around the STAR model (situation, task, action, result).

They aren’t expecting you to be the finished article
Regardless of a candidate’s experience or background, I have never come across someone who has every skill and experience fully formed. Therefore, you need to prepare answers for your “gaps”.
You may have worked on something similar; so you need to use the STAR model to work up your narrative to show your transferable skills – make sure it is clear to the interview how this example is relevant evidence for their question.

They want someone who can learn, quickly!
The most unsettling question is when you have NO relevant experience. Then you need to show how you would approach it hypothetically. The right mindset and approach can be just as important as first-hand experience.
To support your potential further, prepare an example of how you have learnt something new, quickly – such as IT systems or a new process – plus how you have worked outside of your comfort zone – such as having to give a presentation last minute.

You don’t have to say “Yes”
Finally, and this is the strangest thing for me to say, you don’t have to accept the job. During the process, you will have not only highlighted your skills but have uncovered if you like the culture and people you could work with. Don’t feel obligated to accept an offer.
BUT if you want the job, tell them!

There are my top six tips; let me know which ones you would add to the list!


Take Care of the Business of You! Created for parents by parents.
An email coaching programme from The Balance Collective. Gain clarity on skills & how to apply them to your career. Only £45 and starts 1st August 2016. Please share with anyone who would be interested. Online, so it can be completed from wherever you like, whenever you want!

I’m a return to work, career, work-life balance and confidence coach for parents.
Find out about how I have helped parents just like you!


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